If you are travelling to Thailand and you happen to visit Pai, chances are you'll fall in love with this wonderful town and will be looking to extend your Thai Tourist Visa. Pai immigration office is not exactly an ideal place to extend a visa, as it only opens twice a month. However, if you happen to be in Pai during these two days, it can save you a lot of time and hassle. In this post, we'll explain everything you need to know about where and how to extend a Thai Tourist Visa in Pai.
What Is A Thai Tourist Visa?
A Single Entry Tourist Visa allows you to enter the Kingdom of Thailand for up to 60 days. These 60 days can be extended for a further 30 days (you can only extend once), giving you a total of 90 days in the country before you must leave.
There is also a Multiple Entry Tourist Visa (METV) which is valid for six months on your first entry to Thailand. This means you can enter and leave the country as many times as you like within these six months. On each entry though, you can only stay for a maximum of 60 days, before having to leave and re-enter.
As of 13th November 2015, each entry on the METV is eligible for a 30-day extension.
Note: If you have a visa-exempt stamp for 30 days, this can also be extended for a further 30 days. The cost and requirements are the same as below.
Where Do You Extend A Thai Tourist Visa In Pai?
You can extend a Thai Tourist Visa in Pai at Pai's immigration office, located across from the evening market hall. Getting here is pretty easy from the centre of town. Coming from the main road with the secondary school, make your way to the second set of traffic lights. Go straight through these lights and about 100 meters to your right, you will see the immigration office.
Or, you can click on the link here Pai immigration office which will show you how to get there from the Walking Street via Google Maps.
When Is The Immigration Office Open?
Pai's immigration office does not open Monday to Friday like most immigration offices. If you are looking to extend a Thai Tourist Visa in Pai, you can only do so on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month between 10 & 4 pm. Even at that, dates can be subject to change from time to time.
You can always drop a message on Our Pai Family Facebook group to find out about any changes.
Update: The office was last open on the 16th of November 2017 and is now temporarily closed. There has been a petition going around Pai the last couple of weeks to get it reopened as before. You can drop a message or search immigration in the search tab on the facebook group Our Pai Family to find out further changes. We'll update this again as soon as we find out more information when it is back open again.
What To Bring For A Thai Visa Extension?
When applying for a visa extension, it is best to do so in person and to bring the following:
- Your passport.
- Your TM.6 departure card filled out. You would have received this when entering Thailand.
- One passport photo 4cm x 6cm in size.
- A photocopy of your passport's photo page (main page).
- Photocopy of your Thai Visa and latest entry stamp.
- A photocopy of your TM.6 departure card.
- Bring your own black or blue pen in case they run out of pens.
- Take down your current Thai address (i.e. your guesthouse or hostel address) and Thai phone number (if you have one). You will need this information when filling out a TM.7 application form.
TM.7 is an application form you must fill out in order to extend your temporary stay in Thailand. You can pick up this document at the immigration office on the day of extending.
How Much Does A Visa Extension Cost?
A visa extension cost 1900 Baht ($56) but to extend a Thai Visa in Pai, you will have to pay an additional 300 Baht (9$). We are not sure why, but we didn't mind paying. It did save us a full day of travelling to and from Chaing Mai or Mae Hong Son.
When Should You Apply For An Extension?
To extend a Thai Tourist Visa in Pai, you should apply after your first 30 days, up until your last day. Normally they are not too strict on this. Be aware though, you will not be allowed to extend your visa once your entry has expired.
Note: If you have a visa-exempt stamp, don't wait until your 30 days are up. You can apply for an extension any time during your 30 days.
Where Can You Get Photos And Photocopies Made?
You can get all your passport photos and photocopies to extend a Thai Tourist Visa in Pai at the digital print shop. The shop is located on the same road as the Police Station and a few doors down from Pai Pub (easily found on google maps).
We can't remember the exact price we paid for our photos and photocopies. As far as we can remember, we didn't pay more than 120 Baht ($3.50), for six photos and two photocopies.
The application process to extend a Thai Tourist Visa in Pai is quite straight forward. When you enter the building, make your way up the stairs where you will be greeted by a western volunteer. He will give you a TM.7 form, a ticket number and tell you roughly how long you will be waiting. During this time, fill out your TM.7 form and check all necessary documents.
Once your ticket number is called, you will go to the western volunteer who will check that all documents are in order. You will then wait a further 10 minutes before being seen to by an immigration officer. Hand over all your documents and appropriate fee to the officer, who will then process your Thai Visa Extension.
Note: Arrive early as you could be waiting up to 2 hours. You will not be expected to sit around in the office waiting. Depending on how long you have to wait, you can head off for a coffee and come back at the time you were told.